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Learning and Teaching about Earth from Space with NASA/USGS Landsat Satellites: A Trainer’s Toolbox
The Landsat Educator Training Toolbox is a resource for educators to train others about Landsat satellites, data, and images and the role of space-based observations of Earth in our rapidly changing, challenging world for career awareness.
Please note: all images are FREE of cost and carry no copyright. NASA simply requests that users give proper attribution.
Landsat Image Gallery
The Landsat Image Gallery is a collection of Landsat images published on this site and NASA’s Earth Observatory and Visible Earth web sites. Images are available at full resolution, often in both jpg and geotiff format. A short caption accompanies each image.
USGS LandsatLook images are full resolution ready-made Landsat images available as pseduo-natural color images or thermal greyscale images. LandsatLook images are very useful if you want a full-resolution image, but do not want to download the full data set and make a composite RGB image yourself. Get instructions for downloading LandsatLook images.
Earth as Art
This USGS collection features Landsat scenes that are reminiscent of fine art.
USGS Landsat Image Gallery
An easy-to-browse array of images including such Earth features as volcanoes, floods, cities and more.
Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS)
The SVS creates an amazing array of images and animations using satellite and other data to illustrate research done by NASA. Searchable by keyword, and by instrument, many images and movies have text, and some are linked to science stories. The SVS Landsat Gallery highlights some of the best animations and videos.
NASA Earth Observatory’s World of Change
This image series documents how our planet’s land, oceans, and atmosphere are changing over time both naturally and with the influence of humankind. Landsat imagery is often featured.
Google Earth Engine: Landsat Annual Timelapse 1984-2012
Using Landsat data from 1984 to 2012, Google Earth Engine features time-lapse change-over-time videos for eight locations around the world.
Images of Change
NASA’s Global Climate Change website features many examples of change around our planet, often using Landsat data.
Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change
This USGS image gallery introduces remote sensing by showing examples of environmental change from around the world. Explore this site to see how satellite imagery is used to track change over time.
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Visit our News and Features section for current and archived Landsat science stories.
Landsat on the Earth Observatory
Earth Observatory features loads of relevant, up-to-date articles in layman’s language about NASA’s Earth science research. Any and all materials published on the Earth Observatory are freely available for re-publication or re-use, except where copyright is indicated. We ask that NASA’s Earth Observatory be given credit for its original materials. The free subscription option provides a short e-mail message letting you know what’s new each week.
How to Interpret a Satellite Image: Five Tips and Strategies
An Earth Observatory feature article on the basics of interpreting a remotely sensed image.
Why is that Forest Red and that Cloud Blue? How to Interpret a False-Color Satellite Image
An Earth Observatory feature article to help you understand false-color satellite images.
How Satellite Images are Made (PDF, 1.3 Mb)
This presentation briefly explains what Landsat measures, and how to interpret the images.
Download the accompanying Landsat 7 San Francisco Onionskin animation (Quicktime, 7.8 Mb) or the 2013 Landsat 8 Onion Skin of the Florida Everglades.
Landsat 7 Compositor
The Compositor provides a visual explanation of satellite images. This site includes some basic information about the electromagnetic spectrum and the various wavelengths detected by the Landsat 7 satellite.
Thematic Guide: Land-Use and Land-Cover Change
by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)
This guide provides background information on important topics in land use and land cover change research: deforestation, desertification, biodiversity loss, land cover and the water cycle, land cover and the carbon cycle, and urbanization.
Geomorphology from Space
The core of this book (external link) is a gallery of 237 space-based images, each treating a geographic region where a particular landform theme is exemplified. Commentary, photographs, locator maps, and sometimes a geologic map accompany each plate.
Landsat 8 and 7 Background Material
LDCM Communications Toolkit (for Mac: 200.5 Mb; for PC: 227.5 Mb), December 2012
The Landsat 8 (LDCM) Press Kit, February 2013 (PDF)
The Landsat 8 (LDCM) Brochure, February 2013 (PDF)
Landsat 8 (LDCM) Fact Sheet, September 2012 (PDF)
Landsat 7 Overview
Landsat Fact Sheet, March 2003 (PDF, 208 Kb)
The Landsat 7 Press Kit, April 1999 (PDF, 350 Kb)
Science Writers Guide, March 1999 (PDF, 380 Kb)
Landsat 7 Brochure, Pre-launch 1997 (PDF, 484 Kb)
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“Know Your Landsat: Understanding and Accessing Landsat Data” from the NASA EarthData webinar series, presented Oct. 8, 2014
Using Remote Sensing Images in Interpretation (PDF, 3.9 Mb)
Working with Landsat Data (PDF, 4.2 Mb)
Take the Landform Quiz! (PDF, 32 Kb)
After downloading the quiz, open the Landform Quiz Slide Show (PowerPoint, 1.6 Mb ~or~ PDF, 1 Mb), and see if you can figure out which of the following landforms corresponds to each slide. (Some slides may have more than one correct answer). You may check your answers against the answer sheet (PDF, 20 Kb). Most of the images for this activity were obtained from the Earth as Art collection. For more information about each image, view the slide show in notes form (PowerPoint, 1.7 Mb ~or~ PDF, 1 Mb). You can create your own version of a Landforms Quiz using any of the imagery located on our website.
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LANDSAT FACT SHEETS
NASA’s Landsat Fact Sheet series explores the ways in which Landsat data benefit society. Please feel free to download and print any of these.
- Energy Fact Sheet, Winter 2013 (PDF, 774 Kb)
- Natural Disasters Fact Sheet, Winter 2013 (PDF, 514 Kb)
- Health Fact Sheet, Winter 2013 (PDF, 1.6 Mb)
- Water Fact Sheet, Winter 2013 (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
- Fire Fact Sheet, Summer 2012 (PDF, 709 Kb)
- Forest Fact Sheet, Summer 2012 (PDF, 336 Kb)
- Biodiversity Fact Sheet, Summer 2012 (PDF, 582 Kb)
- Climate Change Fact Sheet, Summer 2012 (PDF, 795 Kb)
- Urban Planning Fact Sheet, Winter 2010 (PDF, 290 Kb)
- Agriculture Fact Sheet, Winter 2010 (PDF, 1 Mb)
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NASA’s Landsat educational publications are brief informational handouts. Please feel free to download and print!
- LDCM Launch Brochure, Winter 2012 (PDF, 18.1 Mb)
Landsat Data Continuity Mission (Landsat 8) Fact Sheet, Summer 2012 (PDF, 594 Kb)
LDCM Brochure, Fall 2010/Winter 2011(PDF, 3.4 Mb)
- Alaska’s Thawing Permafrost, Spring 2009 (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
- Alaska’s Bear Glacier, Spring 2008 (PDF, 600 Kb)
- Landsat & Climate Change, Winter 2008 (PDF, 360 Kb)
- Antarctica’s Drygalski Ice Tongue, Winter 2008 (PDF, 1.7 Mb)
- Blending Science and Art, Summer 2006 (PDF, 916 Kb)
- The Chesapeake Bay, Spring 2006 (PDF, 664 Kb)
- Baltimore, Maryland, Fall 1999 (PDF, 668 Kb)
- Outer Banks, North Carolina, Fall 1999 (PDF, 572 Kb)
- Washington, D.C., Fall 1999 (PDF, 672 Kb)
- Amelia the Pigeon: NYC, Spring 2003 (PDF, 312 Kb)
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Some key tutorials for finding, downloading, and creating color Landsat images:
Finding your location
This site will help you to find out which Landsat scene(s) cover a given location.
A Quick Guide to Earth Explorer for Landsat 8
A NASA Earth Observatory Elegant Figures blog post from Robert Simmon on downloading Landsat 8 imagery from the USGS Earth Explorer.
How To Make a True-Color Landsat 8 Image
A NASA Earth Observatory Elegant Figures blog post from Robert Simmon about turning Landsat 8 data into images.
The Landsat data sets featured on the following website have been subset and prepared for easy use in MultiSpec© (external link), a free image processing software package from Purdue University.
- Landsat 7 Data Sets: LAN files for use with MultiSpec©
- Full Landsat scenes are very large files. This Web site provides scene subsets of interesting cities and natural areas around the world.
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Just for fun, try your hand at these interactive puzzles! Along the way you can learn a little about Landsat, and some of the exotic and interesting places pictured by its sensor.
The Space Place
The Space Place is a multi-faceted NASA outreach program. It creates unique educational products in a variety of media for a broad range of audiences. You can find word puzzles, scrambled pictures, crazy quizzes, a board game and more on this site made especially for elementary aged children.
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These animations provide basic information about Landsat and Earth remote sensing.
Landsat Flyby Video – A short overview of how Landsat benefits people.
Landsat 8 Launch – Landsat 8 blasts off on an Atlas V rocket.
Landsat 8 Enters Orbit – Landsat 8 successfully separates from the booster, entering orbit.
Everglades Onion Skin – See how Landsat images are made using layers of data.
Landsat Multimedia Page – An extensive collection of videos on Landsat.
NASA’s Science Visualization Studio: Landsat – NASA’s Science Visualization Studio (SVS) creates an array of images and animations using satellite and other data to illustrate research done by NASA.
Cities Change Over Time
- Satellites in our Lives
- Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
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ADDITIONAL NASA EARTH SCIENCE RESOURCES
The Geospatial Revolution
The Geospatial Revolution is a public service project that strives to inform the public about the world of digital mapping and how it is revolutionizing how we interact with our world. The project has been developed by Penn State Public Broadcasting. There are currently four video episodes explaining how geospatial technologies help society.
The Globe Program
The Globe Program is an exciting, worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based education and science program.
This website elaborates on the purpose of NASA’s Earth science program. The program strives to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards.
Earth Science For Kids Only
See how NASA studies air, land, natural hazards and water and how people affect the Earth. You can also find fun links to contests, activities and games.
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Over 260 Landsat-related terms are defined for you in our glossary.